un·​an·​swer·​able | \ˌən-ˈan(t)s-rə-bəl, -ˈan(t)-sə-\

Definition of unanswerable 

: not capable of being answered also : irrefutable

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Other Words from unanswerable

unanswerability \ˌən-​ˌan(t)s-​rə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē, -​ˌan(t)-​sə-​ \ noun
unanswerably \ˌən-​ˈan(t)s-​rə-​blē, -​ˈan(t)-​sə-​ \ adverb

Examples of unanswerable in a Sentence

the unanswerable assertion that she didn't know much about art but she knew what she liked

Recent Examples on the Web

Big groups, big brains, big appetites At this point, the conversation revolves around correlations—between brains, social groups, and environmental factors—which leaves certain questions frustratingly unanswerable. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "The evolutionary mystery of gigantic human brains," 23 Aug. 2018 And there is another unanswerable question on their minds: Was there something — anything — the school could have or should have done differently that might have altered what happened that day and prevent it from ever happening again? Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "A Carmel High School student's suicide raises questions over how schools discipline kids," 11 July 2018 The question of why a writer can make the words on the page come to felt life in one genre but not another — why the gift of expressiveness is extended here while that of appreciation goes there — this question remains unanswerable. Vivian Gornick, New York Times, "James Wood’s New Novel Confronts the Mystery of Other Minds," 14 June 2018 The question—ultimately unanswerable—revolves around proportions. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: Is Current Form or Past Slam Performance a Better Indicator of Success in Majors?," 27 June 2018 The stories in his first book, Goodbye, Columbus, remain some of the most acute and unanswerable things ever written about, and against, American Jewishness; the rabbis who railed against the book were right to see it as deeply mischievous. Adam Kirsch, The Atlantic, "Remembering Philip Roth, a Giant of American Literature," 23 May 2018 Each unanswerable question was followed by another. Soumya Karlamangla, latimes.com, "Decoding your baby's DNA: It can be done. But should it be?," 22 Apr. 2018 That the question is unanswerable has never stopped the heartsick from picking it over. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction Chronicle: Love Among the Higher Primates," 20 Apr. 2018 Those young adults and teenagers, even middle schoolers, from Madison who killed themselves in the past few years have left behind unanswerable questions. Author: Juliet Macur, Anchorage Daily News, "Suicides, drug addiction and high school football," 9 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unanswerable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of unanswerable

1613, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for unanswerable

The first known use of unanswerable was in 1613

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English Language Learners Definition of unanswerable

: not capable of being answered

: impossible to prove wrong

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More from Merriam-Webster on unanswerable

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Spanish Central: Translation of unanswerable

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Comments on unanswerable

What made you want to look up unanswerable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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